by kbk

Draco wakes, wrapped in warmth, and stares uncomprehendingly at the red curtain a foot from his nose. He feels as though he has emerged from his first real sleep in the four months since the day he orphaned himself. It is hardly his place to complain; Potter had shown the signs of insomnia for all of the years between Voldemort's return and his end, and according to all accounts spent the first fortnight after his victory collapsed in bed, succumbing to the creeping exhaustion that left lines on his face and shadows under his eyes, waking only to eat and correspond with friends. Draco does not believe these stories, for if he -- even he -- is haunted by the events of that day, how much more so the empathetic exemplary Gryffindor hero?

His brain kicks in, eventually, informing Draco that the reason he slept well is that he is not in his own bed. The curtains are the wrong colour, for one, and for another, his bed does not contain a warm hard body wrapped around his own foetal form. Obviously, there is something that he ought to remember.


The night is young, and Harry takes advantage of a rare moment to himself to take a walk in the grounds. Being the hero of the "Second War Against Voldemort" has brought him kudos and fame, but has not excluded him from taking N.E.W.T.s with the rest of his year. Still, he cannot bring himself to work as hard as those around him, knowing as he does that his very name is more of a passport than his exam results could ever be.

All around is green: the delicate leaf tints of spring shading into the robust palette of summer in the trees and the plants, and interspersed with silver in the scarf wrapped around the neck of the figure seated on the ground. There are far fewer Slytherins at Hogwarts now, especially in the upper years -- those old enough (by inclination, if not by law) to fight. All in all, twenty-three current students joined the roll of dead, only six of them from the ranks of the Death Eaters, and not all of those from Slytherin -- but fifteen more have been sent to Azkaban. Harry does not need to get any closer to know that the boy in front of him is Draco Malfoy.

Harry sits next to him, leaving exactly three feet of clear space. He doesn't bother with a greeting; his shell of serenity strong enough and brittle enough that he neither needs nor dares to speak. It only takes a few minutes for Malfoy to break. He looks up, and asks, "What do you want, Potter?" Harry shrugs at him with a feigned pseudo-Zen calm. Draco huddles further into his robes, appearing a black lump topped by an albino head -- the only colour the green in his scarf. After a suitable pause, Harry tells him, "It's not that cold, Malfoy." Pale eyes slant a scornful response, and they do not talk for another few minutes.

Harry wonders, sitting there, if Malfoy is sitting vigil for his mother, killed by her husband three days before the dramatic finale of the fight. He has, of course, been keeping track -- waiting anxiously for every landmark, expecting the vestiges of the enemy force to rise again at any time, knowing that if he were one of them he would deliberately attack on a day with no meaning; knowing that followers such as they tend more towards overblown commemorative action. He is smart enough not to ask if this is the case. But thoughts of Narcissa lead to thoughts of Lucius and his death in Harry's defence; this is what prompts him to speak.

"About your father..." Harry is cut off by Draco's frozen glare. "He may have been a cold-hearted abusive bastard whom I could happily never have spoken to again," the blonde says in a tight angry voice, "but he was my father, and I cannot be glad of his death." Harry nods slightly, blinks and looks away, shrinking slightly from Malfoy's anger. "I was going to say I was sorry," he mutters with a slightly chagrined tone. Draco regards him with an aloof eye, drawing out the awkward moment before replying, "You're not. I'm not. Why pretend?" Harry pauses, a short shocked space of time before he cracks and snickers. Draco snorts, and soon both of them are laughing with a bitter edge of hysteria.

Eventually, Harry stands. He steps towards his companion and extends a hand, saying, "Come inside, Draco."


The body behind Draco stirs, and a heavy arm slides further around him. He relaxes slightly, allowing his own arm to brush against the constraining one, and it is this action which alerts him to the fact that they are both still clothed; though he has stripped to only two of his now-habitual five layers. He waits for another movement on the part of his bedmate; when none comes, he pulls free and sits up. Harry blinks up at him, confused and strangely vulnerable-looking with his glasses off and his hair more mussed than usual.

With deliberate fingers, Draco unbuttons his shirt and slides it off his shoulders. He pushes aside the curtain to drop it on the floor, and notes with surprise that it is the middle of the afternoon. All the better, he thinks; Harry's roommates will be in the library. His T-shirt slips easily over his head to join the shirt on the floor, and he looks back to see Harry frowning at his semi-emaciated frame. He leans over and kisses the darker boy warily, fingers working at Harry's shirt buttons and skimming over the skin beneath. Harry returns the kiss, pulling Draco down to rest on top of his more solid body.

With Gryffindor blankets above him, his as-yet-unspoken affection thawing his heart, and the warm body of the Boy Who Won -- the boy he killed to protect -- below him, Draco is finally warm again.


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